A splash page is the initial page that a user views when visiting a website. Splash pages can change to reflect different marketing pushes or time-sensitive promotions or can be static and act as a home page or explainer page. For instance, a company that sells products and runs timely promotions can capture visitors’ attention and display their promotion or offer to everyone who visits the website, casting a wide net of awareness for the given promotion. On the other hand, a splash page for a phone app or service will usually be an overview of the features and benefits of the app; this sort of splash page provides a stripped-down design with the minimum necessary information to convey the idea behind the app without introducing any noise or other ideas that will distract from the central point. Splash pages can be made to display only once or twice, allowing a visitor to pass directly to the website’s homepage if the splash page has already been viewed. In short, employing a splash page allows a website to display the most important information first thing before the user sees anything else ensuring that your message will be heard.
In any design or development process, there is an outlined list of what is expected from the designer and developer as requested by the client called the scope of work. This document will ensure that both parties know exactly what to expect from any given client and make sure that the client gets what they hired the designer/developer to do and that the designer or developer isn’t required to do things that weren’t agreed upon in the original scope. This is not a perfect world, though, and oftentimes new requirements or features will be needed after the original scope of work has been determined; scopes of work can be amended to include the new items at which point the designer or developer will most likely increase the payment amount to reflect the added work.
Scope creep happens when a client continues to request additional work, features, or time without renegotiating the final payment amount - the scope of work creeps upwards. Most developers and designers are nice people who will probably allow one or two new items without charging more, but this courtesy can be abused by clients who feel entitled to unlimited changes. This is a bit like trying to hit a moving target as the checklist for completion keeps growing. For the most fair and square dealing with a developer or designer, any major changes in the scope of work should warrant a renegotiation and new scope lest the developer ends up effectively working for free.
The eye has a natural tendency to scan in the direction of reading. This has led classic design to favor a layout where elements are arranged in the same direction as reading a paragraph. For English speakers (and several world language groups, of course), headlines and copy would begin in the upper left-hand corner of the webpage. Similarly, the company’s logo and brand elements would appear in the upper left-hand corner of the website framing the content below. A user’s eye will move in a Z pattern following a left-to-right and top-to-bottom path along the page. An effective web layout will exploit this tendency and place the most important headlines and copy in the upper left-hand corner. Images supporting the copy can be placed in the upper right-hand and lower left-hand corners to fill out the page (remember not to use too much copy). Even though this technique was developed for print layouts, it is still a useful way to design website layouts as well as reading itself still follows the same principles.
HTML5 possesses a substantial animation capability. The former major animation platform, Flash, is being phased out as HTML5 can deliver animations faster resulting in quicker page load speeds. Apple decided to end support for Flash on its iOS operating system, a sign of the times but also a major disincentive for its continued use. HTML5 is supported on virtually all operating systems and browsers, some of which do not run Flash. Furthermore, HTML5 animations perform better on touch screen devices. Between HTML5 animations’ superior speed and compatibility to Flash, new websites will increasingly opt for HTML5 if they use animations.